Rugby champion shares his nystagmus story!

I’m Wil Maudsley and I was diagnosed with nystagmus at three months old. From the outset my family decided that I would do everything my peers would do and I strongly believe that this has made me the person I am today. Objects do not move around with my vision, but I wouldn’t know what it would be like to have “normal vision”. My nystagmus affects me in different ways day to day like not being able to drive or recognise people at a distance, but sport is one place where I don’t let it. I might find things a little harder than everyone else at first but with the right attitude and enough patience I believe that anything can be achieved.

I currently work as a community rugby league coach for the Warrington Wolves Foundation. Through the foundation we do lots of events to raise money for the charity. I will mention a few that I’m extremely proud of. I am a massive rugby fan and have played since I was four years old. I am currently playing fullback for Woolston Rovers ARLFC in the NCL league.

“From the outset my family decided I could do everything my peers could do” – Wil Maudsley

My biggest achievement to date is completing the national three peaks challenge in less than 24 hours. 23:43 to be exact! The challenge meant that we had to travel to and climb Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scarfel Pike in the Lake District and Mt Snowdon in Wales all in under 24 hours. I was one of only four of our group of 15 that completed the challenge in time. The challenge was physically tough especially having to climb one of the mountains in the dark and, as you can imagine, was a little extra difficult for me.

Another challenge I have completed is our charity cycle to St James Park in Newcastle. We left the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday 28 May and cycled 190 miles over two days, arriving at St James Park on Saturday 30 May ready for a full weekend of Super League fixtures. We battled the rain, hail and wind, along with the North Yorkshire hills, and all completed the challenge safely. It was a fantastic experience and one that I would love to do again.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is not to be embarrassed if you need help and not to be scared to ask. When I was younger I was guilty of this and would often struggle on my own. I think I was almost too proud to ask for help. I also think I was a little worried about what people would think of me or how they would react. But in reality everyone I’ve asked for help has been more than happy to. They’re usually genuinely really interested in my eyes and how they work.

“The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is not to be embarrassed if you need help and not to be scared to ask” – Wil Maudsley

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